by Martin Pollack

Prevention in Action

The Mother City builds safer communities

Creating a safer community to prevent domestic violence
Stop domestic violence

The City of Cape Town has taken its commitments to heart and will be rolling out two programs in order to build a Caring and Safe City. Communities will be given an opportunity to engage in initiatives that promote preventative action on domestic violence.

South Africa has long since been recognised as a country deserving of international aid, one of the reasons why the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been a partner in the development projects for 4 years. The development program was fortunate enough to have a variety of partners and stakeholders on board. These included the Western Cape and Kwazulu-Natal Networks on Violence against Women, as well as the Project Concern Internation. 

The programme will be piloted in Bonteheuwel and Temperance Town next to Gordon’s Bay and opposite Sir Lowry’s Pass Village. The project will run from 22 October until December 2012. After the pilot has been concluded, the Department will examine future expansion prospects to other areas. The programme will ensure that the Metro Police comprehensively complies with its legislative obligations in terms of dealing with domestic violence complaints.  

According to Deputy Chief, Yolanda Faro, experts in the field of gender-related violence all concur that there is no ‘quick fix’ in terms of minimising domestic violence.  

“Enforcing the Domestic Violence Act will not necessarily reduce domestic violence related crimes – the key is changing the mind set and the behaviour of the community towards domestic violence,” says Faro. 

“The buy-in of communities to reduce domestic violence is vital and their understanding that domestic violence is not a “private matter, but a public matter” is essential if we are to change attitudes and behaviours. This is the foundation to minimising domestic violence related crimes. This programme demonstrates that the City’s Metro Police officers do not only focus on crime once it has happened, but more importantly on trying to find ways to stop crime before it starts,” says Alderman J.P. Smith, Mayoral Committee Member: Safety and Security 

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